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Republican Hopefuls Converge On Iowa For Annual GOP "Roast And Ride" Event; Authorities End Rescue Efforts At Derailment Site; Zelenskyy: Ukraine Ready For Counteroffensive; China Blames U.S. For Breakdown In Dialogue; Three Israelis And an Egyptian Killed In Border Clash. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 04, 2023 - 05:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton. Ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM. Rescue efforts have ended at the site of India's worst train crash in decades. We will take you live to the site with a look at what authorities are saying caused the crash.



MIKE PENCE, (R) FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I don't have anything to announce today, but I can tell you when I got time to announce come this Wednesday, I'm announcing in Iowa.


NEWTON: It's courting season and Republicans eyeing the White House. So we're out in force this weekend. We'll look at whether an alternative to Donald Trump is emerging.

And the Vegas Golden Knights grabbed the early lead in the Stanley Cup Final. CNN's Sports Coy Wire joins me live to break down the historic matchup on the Ice.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Paula Newton.

NEWTON: And we begin this hour in Washington, D.C., where two more names will soon join the ever-growing list of Republicans running for president. Now, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who ran in 2016, is expected to announce his candidacy Tuesday. Former Vice President Mike Pence, meantime, says he'll formally announce he'll enter the race on Wednesday. Candidates have been picking up the pace as the weather turns warmer with their first major test coming early next year in Iowa. Later today, GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley will take part in a CNN Town Hall with Jake Tapper. Now, Haley was among the top Republican hopefuls who traveled to Iowa on Saturday for the annual roast and ride event. It's a major GOP gathering hosted each year by Republican Senator Joni Ernst.

Now, nearly all of the party's major presidential candidates and likely candidates, of course, those who hadn't yet announced were there. But not Donald Trump, he declined the invitation. We get more now from CNN's Jeff Zeleny, who is in Des Moines.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Republican voters in Iowa who will have the first say in the presidential race next year got an early glimpse of their options in this campaign. Former President Donald Trump, the only major candidate not in the state on Saturday, as several others attended Senator Joni Ernst's roast and ride.

It's an annual political event featuring barbecue, motorcycle riding and a side of politics. These candidates were making their case for why they can be the best alternative to Donald Trump and be the best option for Republicans to win back the White House.

Here's a sense of their argument that they offered to voters at this point.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got to start doing this in a way that we can win a general election. It's time for a new generational leader. We've got to leave the baggage and the negativity behind. We've got a country to save.

RON DESANTIS, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here's the thing, you can't do any of it if you don't win. There is no substitute for victory. And we need to dispense with the culture of losing that has beset the Republican Party in recent years. Iowa shows it can be done. Florida shows it can be done. We had red waves in 2022. The rest of the country, not so much.

TIM SCOTT, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am running because I believe America can do for anyone what she has done for me. We've got to restore hope.

ZELENY: So many different faces, many different backgrounds, but most of these Republican candidates essentially singing from the same songbook, trying to make the case for why they are best to win back the White House for Republicans and confront Donald Trump in a one-on -one competition as this race intensifies.

Now, there is no doubt the person hanging over this race more than anyone is Donald Trump. He decided not to come. He was invited to this. Senator Joni Ernst said she made the invitation, but he simply does not like to be in the same room with other candidates.

We will see of course in the months to come if that indeed was a mistake, but these candidates will be coming back to Iowa which opens this process early next winter. This campaign right now as summer approaches is rapidly intensifying.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Des Moines.


NEWTON: And a quick programming note, as we mentioned earlier, CNN will host a Town Hall today with Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley, that's live from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. The former South Carolina Governor will take questions from CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper. Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa. That's Monday at 8 in the morning, Hong Kong.

Plus, CNN will host a Town Hall on Wednesday with former Vice President Mike Pence live from Grand View University in Des Moines. The Republican is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency later this week, and he will take questions from CNN Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent, Dana Bash.


Be sure to tune in Wednesday, June 7th at 8 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa. That's Thursday at 9 in the morning Hong Kong time right here on CNN.

Now, just two days before the U.S. risks triggering a global economic meltdown, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the legislation to prevent it from happening. And of course, in the nick of time, the U.S. Treasury had warned it was heading for default by Monday if Congress failed to act.

Now, the bill to suspend the debt limit until 2025 cleared Congress late Thursday, but that was only after weeks of grueling negotiations between the White House and Republican leaders. Late Friday, Mr. Biden spoke from the Oval Office about why this deal had to happen.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: Passing this budget agreement was critical. The states could not have been higher. If we had failed the reaching agreement on the budget, there were extreme voices threatening to take America for the first time in our 247-year history into default on our national debt. Nothing, nothing would have been more irresponsible. Nothing would have been more catastrophic. No one got everything they wanted, but the American people got what they needed.


NEWTON: A 66-year -old veteran from New Hampshire is accused of threatening to kill a U.S. Senator. That's according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The man, Brian Landry, even claimed he is a former sniper and was ready to put the senator in his crosshairs. Polo Sandoval has the disturbing details.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Federal officials are not naming the senator that was the target of this threat, but they certainly are expanding on the nature of it. They say in their filings that Brian Landry called a senator's district field office on the morning of May 17th and left a voicemail. That voicemail transcribed in these federal court documents. He allegedly said, "I'm a veteran sniper, and unless you change your ways, I got my scope pointed in your direction, and I'm coming to get you. You're a dead man walking, you piece of -- expletive."

This voicemail first provided to the U.S. Capitol Police that then brought on board the FBI. Federal investigators then visited on May 24th, 66-year-old man. They spoke to him, and he reportedly said that he was extremely angry with certain politicians over the handling of entitlement programs for veterans, specifically that a particular senator was blocking military promotions.

Landry reportedly could not recall exactly what he said on the voicemail, but he also notably denied any sort of intentions or desire to commit violence. Landry was nonetheless charged with threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder a U.S. official in connection to the performance of officials, to that official's duties, and a judge ordered him released on Friday, pending a bail review hearing.

This schedule for next month, we have reached out to his defense and are currently waiting to hear back, but this certainly highlights what has been a recent trend of -- threats of political violence in the past, directed at state and federal officials. Many people lately feeling more boldened to actually make calls like this one, but you know, you hear from the intelligence community and the biggest concern is those who do not raise those red flags, those that do not leave voicemails or leave Twitter traffic.


NEWTON: Our thanks to Polo Sandoval there.

Now, the body of Branden Colvin Sr. has now been recovered after the six-story building he was in partially collapsed in Davenport, Iowa. Authorities informed his family Saturday.

Meantime, we're happy to report that his son, Branden Colvin Jr. attended his high school graduation on Saturday. You see the picture of him there. The 18-year -old slept on the pavement near the partially collapsed building and refused to leave in spite of the risk that the rest of the building might fall.

Still ahead, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says Ukraine is ready to launch a counter-offensive, but he warns his country still needs more long-term support from the West. His message to NATO ahead.

Plus, emergency crews recover the first fatality following a Russian strike in southern Ukraine, the heartbreaking fact she was too young to even understand what was coming. And later, China's Defense Minister condemns U.S.' actions in the Pacific, saying an armed confrontation would be a disaster for the world. We'll have details on the latest dangerous incident between the two countries' militaries.



NEWTON: Authorities in India say they have identified the cause of the country's worst train crash in decades. Now, according to the Railway Ministry, it was the result of a change in the electronic single signaling system. Officials are now clearing the crash site after ending, sadly, their search for survivors.

So far, more than 270 people have been confirmed dead, with nearly 1,200 now taken to hospitals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited some of the injured and promised accountability for the tragedy.

Now, across eastern India, people have been honoring the victims with candlelit vigils and flowers. Officials say they will compensate everyone affected by this disaster. CNN's Ivan Watson is at the site of this crash.

And Ivan, you know, absolutely the gruesome heart-breaking tales that people are telling out of this have just been, you know, so horrendous to hear. What more are you learning now about the investigation?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean, the recovery effort is very much underway in this ferocious heat out here. People are hard at work trying to clean the railroad lines. But I'm learning from residents of this rural community around here about what the scene was like on Friday night when this collision actually took place involving three separate trains, two passenger trains and a cargo train.

So, I want to invite Deepak Behera to come and speak with me here. You're a retired Army helicopter technician and you were playing football, soccer nearby when you heard the crash. What did it sound like? Did you know what it was immediately?


DEEPAK BEHERA, RETIRED ARMY TECHNICIAN: We, as the nearby resident, we could understand that this railway crash sound, but it was so huge, for a moment, we thought like, is it an earthquake or something like that?

WATSON: An earthquake. And then -- so you and residents came here. What did you find and did you begin doing?

BEHERA: There are few residents nearby to this place of the accident, so a lot of people couldn't come. We as a young person, me and my teammates, they came to the position. And we find that al of screaming sound, a lot of crying sounds that are coming out, because the bodies were so badly turned and crashed that no people were coming -- capable of coming out.

WATSON: And then, it's important to note, this was all in pitch darkness, there are no lights here?

BEHERA: Yes, yes, yes, you might have seen that there is no light on this road. And a lot of darkness were there. So, what I thought at that moment of time, I just told my boys that please bring out your mobile phones. And other people who were recording the scene, I just instructed them, please requested them to please help us --

WATSON: Turn the flashlights on?

BEHERA: So we can at least take volunteers to help because --

WATSON: What happened? There are many trapped people. Did you help rescue some of them?

BEHERA: Yes, because other people were getting feared of this electric light, because it's a huge electric light were offers the train, huge voltage. So, I being an army veteran, I have operated in radio operation and other operation, so I had confidence that, yes, we'll check it out, and we'll find out that electricity is there. I entered into bodies (ph). Initially --

WATSON: Into the train cars?

BEHERA: Yes, yes, it was later, initially, we just stepped into the darkness that I found in the bushes and all of those. Bodies were like scattered like anything. I just, you know, one incident was there. I -- mistakenly I put my foot on somebody and she was like screaming. So I found that there are a lot of people lying around here who are really badly injured. It was complete darkness. So at that moment I decided a few kids were there. I just sent them to bring the water with buckets and mugs because resources are not much available nearby.

So they brought it and I told them please give everybody water. Whoever is alive, whoever is asking for help, give -- make them calm. I also told everybody by rushing here and there, please don't be -- have patience. We are here. We are going to do something.

WATSON: And did the residents -- did you actually as volunteers pull survivors from the train wagons?

BEHERA: Yes, yes. One of the worst hit train wagon where I told the other guys to put the mobile light. I entered into it. It was no space literally because it was so inclined that everybody was male, female, everyone was dumped at a place. So we had to pull them very carefully. We pulled them out. Few were alive. We just separated them. Few were dead. So we don't have to waste the time. So we just put them little aside.

WATSON: How many people in that single passenger car?

BEHERA: From that I -- as a live person, I recovered almost eight persons, what I remember because it was not exact memory I was -- for that point of time we were having. We were rushed, a lot of rush were there. But 28 people I personally had saved.



BEHERA: Well, Deepak, thank you for sharing. It was a very difficult night but it sounds like you and the other residents here as volunteers, really made a difference, saved a lot of people's lives.

Paula, that is just one eyewitness account of what has been described by Indian officials as one of the deadliest train disasters that this country has seen in a century. Back to you.

NEWTON: Yeah, chilling Ivan, just to hear what they did just to try and help and the fact that, you know, over a thousand people also were sent to hospital. Ivan Watson for us in Eastern India, really appreciate that.

Now, earlier CNN spoke with a man who survived the horrific crash and Anshuman Purohit says he was sitting toward the back of one of the trains when it suddenly came to a full stop. He described what he saw and how he reacted after the collision. Listen.


ANSHUMAN PUROHIT, TRAIN CRASH SURVIVOR: What was visible to us were the one or two coaches that had detailed of the other train while the main impact was still about 500 meters away from us. So we got stuck, you know, with the victims there, you know, trying to help them, trying to give them water, carry some of the very seriously injured or dead body out of the cars and up to safer zones.

About an hour or so, you know, when I realized that while I've heard ambulances and the sirens coming, I didn't see any relief workers coming to this side of the train, that's when I sense there was something else that might have occurred, which was even more devastating than what I was seeing.


And that's when I ran towards the front part of the train and it was chaos. It was something that I really cannot describe. I saw coaches on top of coaches, the engines. You would have seen the pictures, you know, we have about two or three stories, you know, in terms of height. It was lying on a couple of other coaches.

There were lots of bodies with unimaginable injuries on them. I saw a head without a body. I saw skulls crushed in. I saw bodies completely crushed by the metal amputees. It was horrifying, to be very honest.


NEWTON: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says his armed forces are ready to launch their long-awaited counter-offensive. But he warns it will cost a lot of Ukrainian lives. Now, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the president

acknowledged Russia's superior air power, saying a large number of his soldiers will likely die, because Ukraine doesn't have, in his words, a roof of protection from fighter jets. He also acknowledged that Ukraine will not be able to join NATO while the war is ongoing. But he said he's hoping to secure a pledge from the alliance to become a member right after the conflict ends.

Mr. Zelenskyy was speaking with Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker. Here's how she characterized his comments.


EMMA TUCKER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think the impression I got was that he's looking for more conviction from the West. He was sort of saying, what are you waiting for? You know, this is about values. This isn't Ukraine versus Russia. This is about values. So if you are a country that supports the idea of democracy, if you're a member of NATO, if you're in the E.U. or whatever, you choose your side.


NEWTON: Earlier, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with CNN about Ukraine's anticipated counter-offensive and America's support for the country. Here's what he told Fareed Zakaria.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Jake, when you think about the Ukrainian counter-offensive, what are you looking for to see that in fact the massive investments the United States has made in helping Ukraine are paying off?

JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, first, this is not an exam. We're not grading Ukraine's counter-offensive and saying, you know, you did well based on what we gave you. You did poorly. What we want to do is support Ukraine to make as much progress as possible on the battlefield so that it is in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.

And we do believe that this counter-offensive will allow Ukraine to take strategically significant territory back from Russia, areas occupied by Russia that are rightfully sovereign Ukrainian territory.


NEWTON: Now, earlier, we took the pulse of Ukraine's military preparedness to retake its land from Russia. I spoke with retired Major General Mick Ryan from the Australian Army and I asked him, how ready is Ukraine for this counter-offensive? Listen.


MAJOR GEN. MICK RYAN, (RET.), AUSTRALIAN ARMY: They've been absorbing new equipment, forming new brigades. They've been conducting preliminary operations, deep strikes in Ukraine and beyond. So they are as ready as they'll ever be. There's never a perfect time, but the time is getting close for them to launch this offensive.

NEWTON: Now, can you walk us through and describe what you are describing as a reconnaissance mission by Ukraine? And it's been ongoing as you point out for months, how crucial will that be to the success or failure of this counter-offensive?

RYAN: Well, for many months, Ukrainian forces will have been conducting reconnaissance across the front lines of Russian defenses, of their obstacle belts, of where Russian headquarters, logistic nodes and their reserve locations are. So they'll want to be picking targets to strike before the offensive, but also trying to define where the weakest points of the Russian line is so they can potentially penetrate through there and get into Russian rear areas.

NEWTON: The other point about this is the fact that Russia has been learning on the trot here in this war as well. If, in your words, Russia is able to mount a more competent mobile fighting force in the weeks and months to come, what will Ukraine actually be facing on the ground? It definitely will be a different scenario compared to the early days of this war?

RYAN: Absolutely, the Ukrainian offensive to come won't look like previous ones, not only the Ukrainians are different, but the Russians are. As you said, they have learned, although they haven't learned as fast as the Ukrainians, but they have learned those who have survived have been able to share lessons. And the Russian forces have occupied deep -- kilometers deep, defensive zones, backed up with artillery, backed up with reserve mobile forces.


So this will be a very profound challenge for the Ukrainians, but they've been training, they've been preparing, they've been rehearsing and equipping for some time and they're up to the job.


NEWTON: Our thanks to Mick Ryan there. Now, Ukraine says the casualty toll is growing from a Russian strike near the city of Dnipro. Officials now say the body of a two-year-old girl has been recovered from a building damaged in Saturday's attack.

The number of wounded has now grown to at least 22 people, including five children. The strike damaged multiple homes and gas pipelines. Now Ukraine says its air defenses made a clean sweep in the skies near Kyiv overnight. Initial reports indicate Ukraine shot down all the Russian missiles headed toward the capital. Officials say that was the city's second night in a row without any explosions.

And across the border, officials say at least seven people have been killed by shelling in Russia's Belgorod region since Friday. Two Russian military groups opposed to the Kremlin say they actually carried out the attacks. One of them says its goals include showing Russians that resistance to President Putin is possible. Scott McLean joins me now from London for more on all of this. We

talked about the blasts in Russia, in Russian-held territory. They're all notable. And how could all of that activity now start to fit into what we see as the coming counter-offensive?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so both Ukrainian and Russian officials, Paula, have confirmed that there were strikes in Berdyans'k, in Melitopol' as well. The Russian side will say that some of those were shot down, but still fragments landed in populated areas. We have also gotten word from the Russian side that there were drones struck down over a railway town in Crimea.

And none of these places are all that close to the front lines. And so this may perhaps suggest that Ukraine is trying to cut off supply lines, aim at fuel ammunition depots, at fuel dumps, at barracks, things like that, which is what military analysts would suggest is a shaping operation to "shape the battlefield" for this future counter- offensive.

You also mentioned the strikes in Russian territory, not Russian-held territory, but Russia itself by these anti-Putin militias that are operating primarily from Ukrainian territory to launch their cross- border incursions. There have now been four locations where there have been fatalities reported in the Belgorod region of Russia. You mentioned one of the goals of these groups, another one is simply to distract Russia and perhaps make them redeploy troops to these border areas that seem quite porous and surprisingly quite weak, which may distract them from, obviously, their larger mission, Paula.

NEWTON: Yeah, and it has certainly rattled residents there in Russia understanding what's at stake now. I want to talk about that security forum in Singapore, which is now wrapping up. The U.S. Defense Secretary laid out what the expectations were from this counter- offensive as far as the United States is concerned. Listen.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: As we go forward, I think we're all sensing that Ukrainian leadership is increasingly confident in the capability that they have and opportunities that they may have. Does that mean that, you know, they're going to expel every Russian out of every corner of Ukraine? Probably doesn't. But I think, you know, it may provide -- it may have the opportunity to begin to change the dynamics on the battlefield, and that's really what you're looking for.


NEWTON: So Scott, change the dynamics on the battlefield. What's he getting at there?

MCLEAN: Yeah, so it seems like this is the broader expectation from Ukraine's Western backers, which of course are supplying it with a huge amount of weaponry and training that the Ukrainians need to make enough of a dent in Russian-held territory to prove to the Russians that, look, it doesn't make sense to dig in and wait for the West to get bored with the situation in Ukraine and hope for a negotiated settlement in the future that they need to either fight or get out.

Ukraine also clearly needs to show that they can actually move the front lines. The risk for Ukraine is that if they can't, that there may be calls for them to actually cede territory to Russia and try to negotiate an end to this war.

Now, from the Russians' point of view, it has been extremely difficult for them to actually move the front lines. Obviously, early on in the war, we saw them taking large swaths of territory quite swiftly, but more recently, it has been a real slog for them. Take Bakhmut, for example, this symbolically important city, but strategically rather insignificant place that the Russians managed to capture but only after months and months of fighting and countless lives lost.

One other thing to mention, Paula, and that's that President Zelenskyy said in that Wall Street Journal interview that you referenced that there are certain things that he would like to see, more air defense, fighter jets, though U.S. said on Friday that look, fighter jets are more of a longer-term goal. The priority right now is getting them tanks and things on the ground that will actually make more of a difference sooner when it comes to this counter offensive, Paula.


NEWTON: Yeah, he also made it clear, he knows the counter offensive needs to really get some wins fairly quickly. Scott McLean for us in London, really appreciate the update there.

Still to come for us conflicting reports emerge after four people were killed in a rare clash along Israel's border with Egypt. We'll head to Jerusalem for the details.

And the war of words between the U.S. and China at that security conference in Singapore. We'll explain why America's Defense Secretary is calling Chinese behavior irresponsible.


NEWTON: And welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

As the U.S. and Chinese Defense Chiefs exchanged tough words at a security conference in Singapore, the Pentagon is reporting a second disturbing encounter between the two countries.

Now, the U.S. says a Chinese military ship came close to colliding with the U.S. destroyer Saturday in the Taiwan Strait. And it follows a midair incident last week over the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters China's behavior is irresponsible.


AUSTIN: What you've heard me say in the last several weeks and especially the last couple of days, you know, I've voiced my concern about the irresponsible behavior we've seen with the close intercepts, and the coercive behavior that we see in the waterways, and so that continues.


And as we were coming in, as you know, you saw an example of one aircraft being intercepted by one of their aircraft at a very dangerous distance there, and so on, in very close proximity. And just recently, just in the last day, we've seen another incident where one of their ships crossed in front of one of our ships, probably 150 feet or something like that, and that's extremely dangerous.


NEWTON: So that incident happened just hours, in fact, before China's defense minister chastised the United States in a tough speech at that security conference in Singapore. Li Shangfu accused the U.S. and its allies of trying to destabilize the Indo-Pacific region. And he said if the U.S. wants to avoid confrontation, it shouldn't be sending its military near Chinese territory. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has more now from Hong Kong.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As tensions rise between the U.S. and China, defense troops from around the world have been in Singapore for Asia's largest security form, and hours after warships from the two powers were involved in a near collision. We heard from China's Defense Chief Li Shangfu. Li said the U.S. and China should seek common ground and common interests, and he accused the U.S. of trying to destabilize the region. Take a listen.

LI SHANGFU, CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER: LI SHANGFU, CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER: Pushing for NATO-like military alliances in the Asia-Pacific is to hold countries in the region hostage. History has proven that block politics, division and confrontation have never delivered genuine security. They can only escalate tensions.

LU STOUT: Li added that China has played a constructive role in regards to North Korea and Ukraine, and China will continue to deepen military partnerships with other countries. On Saturday, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin warned China that a conflict over Taiwan

would be devastating.

China earlier rejected an offer from Austin to meet at the Summit in Singapore, setting sanctions on officials and Chinese companies, and Austin expressed deep concern about the lack of high-level communication.

AUSTIN: For responsible defense leaders, the right time to talk is anytime. The right time to talk is every time. And the right time to talk is now.

LU STOUT: A Senior Chinese military official pushed back, saying the U.S. is to blame for the breakdown in dialogue. Now, on the same day of Austin's speech, the U.S. and Canada staged a rare joint sailing through the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. military said a Chinese military ship came within 150 yards of a U.S. Navy destroyer.

AUSTIN: Just in the last day, we've seen another incident where one of their ships crossed in front of one of our ships probably 150 feet or something like that, and that's extremely dangerous. I think accidents can happen that could cause things to spiral out of control.

LU STOUT: On Sunday, Chinese Defense Chief said, "They are here for provocation. The U.S.-China relationship is at its lowest point in decades. The two superpowers are at odds over an array of issues, including Taiwan, access to technology, and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

At a dinner on Friday night, Austin shook hands with his Chinese counterpart. But without high-level talks, that single gesture is not enough to diffuse the tension between the U.S. and China. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


NEWTON: The Israeli soldiers and an Egyptian security officer are dead in a shooting incident, and it happened on Saturday on the Israeli side of the border with Egypt.

Now, the Israeli defense forces say an Egyptian police officer crossed the border and killed two Israeli border guards, and that triggered a manhunt that left the attacker and another Israeli soldier dead.

Now, Egypt says their officer crossed the border, in fact, in pursuit of drug smugglers, and was killed in an ensuing gunfight. For more on all of this, we are joined by Hadas Gold, who is live for us in Jerusalem.

And Hadas, of course, we want to know more about this incident, but also, crucially, how both Israel and Egypt are responding to it?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: All indications from officials both in Egypt and Israel is pointing to this being an isolated and very unusual incident. And we're getting a clear indication that neither side wants this to turn into or spiral into something bigger. Israel and Egypt have been at peace. They cooperate on security matters, especially on this stretch of the border between Israel and Egypt along the Sinai.

There is a fair amount of drug and weapons smugglings there. And there is cooperation between the two. And all signs, all messages we're getting from both sides is that they're cooperating on this investigation. But it is a very unusual incident, something like this has not happened in I'd say more than a decade.


Now, what happened is earlier this morning, the early hours of this morning, when two Israeli soldiers who were manning a watch spot along the border, when they did not respond to a check-in, that triggered other soldiers to come check on them and that's when they discovered that those two soldiers had actually been killed. And in suing manhunt, that's when they engaged with the Egyptian security officer, where the Egyptian security officer, as well as the third Israeli soldier, was killed.

Now, Israeli officials say, and we're also seeing from Israeli media, that the security officer -- the Egyptian security officer crossed the border along the fence and what's an emergency opening. We do have an image shared by the Israeli public broadcaster, Kan (ph), of this opening. It's an emergency opening. And according to the Israeli media, it was being secured with just zip ties. And so the security officer must have cut them in some way in order to be able to cross.

We also have heard from the Israeli defense forces that the two soldiers who were killed, they did not fire a single bullet from their weapons, meaning that they were just killed on the spot by the security officer and then there was that gunfight.

Now, we are hearing from the Egyptian side, and the official statement from them saying that this security officer was tracking and going after drug smugglers when he breached the security barrier and then engaged in the firefight with the soldiers. But there are some still unanswered questions. For example, was the security officer by himself? If so, why? And there's obviously a lot more questions to be answered.

Now, both the Egyptian Minister of Defense and the Israeli Minister of Defense have spoken already. They say they were cooperating. And the Israeli defense forces say that this incident is not at all an indication of the or represent the relationship between the two militaries. Paula.

NEWTON: Hadas Gold for us in Jerusalem, we appreciate it, thank you.

Now, more fallout caused by Florida's anti-drag law, cities and towns right across the street are limiting or even canceling some pride events due to fear of legal trouble. That story after the break.



NEWTON: A federal judge in Tennessee has struck down the state's anti- drag law. Now, in a 70-page ruling released late Friday, the judge said Tennessee's law limiting public drag show performances is an unconstitutional restriction of free speech. The judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, called the law vague and overbroad. The state's Attorney General said his office is reviewing the ruling ahead of an expected appeal.

Florida also passed a law recently targeting drag performances. Now those restrictions are having an impact on pride celebrations in that state. During a time set aside for LGBTQ people to honor their community and their history, some pride events are actually being scaled back or even canceled. CNN's Victor Blackwell has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Pride across Florida will be noticeably less colorful this year. Festival organizers are making significant changes or canceling altogether some LGBTQ plus celebrations. They fear potential consequences from Governor Ron DeSantis' new law that many believe targets public drag performances, a mainstay of Pride events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome, welcome to St. Cloud's First Pride Event.


BLACKWELL: Kristina Bozanich, Coordinator of Pride in St. Cloud, canceled the Orlando area event that was planned to include drag performers. According to the new law signed by DeSantis just weeks ago, local governments are banned from issuing public permits for events that include some adult live performances. Venues risk steep fines and losing licensing if a child is present, knowingly admitting a child would be a first-degree misdemeanor.

BOZANICH: Once the bill was signed, I said we can restructure the event. We'll make sure it's only 18 and up for that portion. They went and talked with all the performers and came back to me and said, we're really sorry, but we just don't feel safe.

BLACKWELL: Organizers in Port St. Lucie canceled its annual Pride Parade. They reached an agreement with the city to host a slimmed down festival. Drag performers were welcome, but anyone under 21 was not.

STEPHANIE PEYMAN, STUDENT: I was in the closet for so many years and I still face hatred and oppression and I can't even go to my own Pride Fest. Kissimmee Pride is on, but drag indoors only.

STEPHANIE BECHARA, COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER, CITY OF KISSIMMEE: For example, Drag Bingo will be taking place inside of our Civic Center and it will be an event where we will be requiring IDs. And we're also asking folks to go ahead and pre-register online to participate.

BLACKWELL: John Paonessa's Orlando restaurant, Hamburger Mary's host drag shows most nights. He's filed a federal lawsuit against the state. He claims he's losing business because of the new law. DeSantis' office has not responded to a CNN request for comment on the lawsuit.

JOHN PAONESSA, OWNER, HAMBURGER MARY'S: We have a street party with a stage with the performers out front during Pride. We usually get 3,000 or 4,000 people on the street watching. That's something we can't do.

BLACKWELL: At the start of a month that's in part a celebration of visibility, some feel that the Sunshine State is shoving them back into darkness.

PAONESSA: Now with the Governor stepping in and the legislation that's going through, we're moving back in time. And it's unfortunate for us and everybody else in the state because what they're doing, it's heartbreaking.

BLACKWELL: And these are the beginnings of gay days here in Central Florida. More than 150,000 people are expected to come here from around the world to celebrate Pride. They'll be at the major theme parks wearing red shirts to be seen. In a statement from the CEO of Gay Days, he says that they are working with their hotels and different venues to make sure that they don't run afoul of the new law.

However, according to the website, there is a Drag Queen bingo event that is advertised as open to all ages. So we'll see how they navigate that. They've also invited Governor DeSantis to the event. It's unlikely he will attend. Victor Blackwell, CNN, Orlando.


NEWTON: Still ahead for us, a historic matchup on the ice as the Florida Panthers take on Vegas' Golden Knights. CNN Sports, Coy Wire breaks down Game 1 on the Stanley Cup Final. And there you are.



NEWTON: Either way, we're looking at history here on the ice as the Vegas Golden Knights took on the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Both teams, of course, yes, Coy Wire joins me here. And it would be the first time for either one of them. So history's going to be made one way or the other?

COY WIRE, CNN WORLD SPORT: No doubt. And I love that Paula said her Boston teams are out of the Playhouse NBA and NHL, so you check that.

NEWTON: But Canada first.

WIRE: That's right. That's right. Canada first.

NEWTON: Take it away, Coy.

WIRE: All right, listen here. We have the Desert. And we have South Florida facing off a Sun Belt battle for the Stanley Cup. Sin City has got to be feeling good after the Game 1 win by the Golden Knights. And check out the best pre-game show in pro sports. Vegas mascot slaying the dragon. Just like Jonathan Marchessault, staying goalies there.

Marchessault bearing his 10th goal in the last 11 games. Vegas though, they wouldn't have been this far if it were not for their goalie, Adin Hill. Look at his effort, Paula. The second period, lunging, falling away. But he must do yoga because he reaches out for an incredible stick save.

Game was tied at two after two. But then Vegas pulled away. Zach Whitecloud fired and what would be the game winning goal past Panthers goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, who gets handed his first road lost these playoffs. Knights take Game 1. They're dancing to a five to two win.


MARK STONE, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS DEFENSEMAN: We don't get rattled. They scored their first goal, short-handed. You know, it could have been a bit of a back breaker for us. But we get the next power play we score. You know, Marchessault steps up. Stephenson makes a great play. And we just keep going. So that's what we got to do. Can't let the momentum swings get too drastic in this series. Got to stay even keeling. Keep going.


WIRE: All right, let's go from the rink to the pitch. First ever FA Cup Final featuring Crosstown Rivals. Manchester City and Man United. Ilkay Gundogan on scoring the fastest goal in competition history. 12 seconds in, unreal.


But Gundogan was not done. Tied at one early in the second half and city skipper scores a second and decisive blow. Two to one the final as City win the FA Cup for the seventh time. They've already secured the Premier League Title. So all that separates them from becoming the second English side to win in the loss of Treble is beating Inter Milan in the Champions League final next Saturday. That's in Turkey.

Now, the Miami Heat, they're hoping to channel that kind of energy tonight for Game 2 of the NBA finals after laying an egg in the opener in Denver. Nikola Jokic is playing in Game One like he was mad that he didn't win a third straight league MVP. He tallied his ninth triple double of the postseason. Jimmy Butler, though, he had his worst game of the playoffs so far, just 13 points.

And Paula, he said that he spent some time with his daughter Rylee to escape, if you will. And the rest of the team needed some reset too.


JIMMY BUTLER, MIAMI HEAT FORWARD: I'm going to do an escape room tonight. I think my guys win this all Spider-Man today. Just doing normal stuff because at the end of the day, I'm as normal as they come. It's not always about basketball. It will never always be about basketball. Me and my guys are going to love me whether I win or lose. My daughter's going to love me whether I win or lose.


WIRE: One of the hardest workers in all of pro sports and to have that perspective too, when we mess up on the show, it feels good. Just be home with your kids. They don't care. Mommy, daddy, we love you anyway.

NEWTON: Listen, you know what it's like to be in his position. I love his press conferences and he really puts it all on the line and it's a good point, right? We're human too and if we see our children, we realize, OK, we'll leave it all.

WIRE: It's all good.

NEWTON: All on the ice in the field, the court. Coy Wire for us, thanks so much. I'm Paula Newton. I want to thank you for your company. Reviewers of North America, CNN THIS MORNING is next. For everyone else, it's Connecting Africa.